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Tuesday, Feb 20th

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Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are ‘children’

Alabama Supreme Court

Alabama’s Supreme Court has ruled that frozen embryos are children under state law and subject to legislation dealing with the wrongful death of a minor, stating that it “applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location.”

The court issued this majority decision in a lawsuit brought forth by a group of in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients whose frozen embryos were destroyed in December 2020 when a patient removed the embryos from a cryogenic storage unit and dropped them on the ground.

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Yale issues formal apology over its past connections to slavery

Yale UYale University issued a formal apology on Friday over its past connections to slavery.

The Ivy League school became the latest institution to apologize for its connections to slavery after spending years researching the subject.

“Today, on behalf of Yale University, we recognize our university’s historical role in and associations with slavery, as well as the labor, the experiences, and the contributions of enslaved people to our university’s history, and we apologize for the ways that Yale’s leaders, over the course of our early history, participated in slavery,” the school said in a statement.

In the Friday release, the university also announced the release of the “Yale and Slavery: A History,” written by the school’s Pulitzer-prize-winning professor David W. Blight, with the Yale and Slavery Research Project. The school also shared a range of initiatives and actions it would pursue based on the findings of the school’s project.

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Australlian Parliament wants Assange sent back home, not to US

ustralian lawmakers want Assange backAustralian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Thursday he hoped for an amicable end to the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after lawmakers ramped up pressure on the United States and Britain by passing a motion calling for the Australian citizen to be allowed to return to his home country.

Albanese told Parliament that the days before London’s High Court hears Assange’s appeal next week against extradition to the United States on espionage charges were a “critical period.”

“I hope this can be resolved. I hope it can be resolved amicably. It’s not up to Australia to interfere in the legal processes of other countries, but it is appropriate for us to put our very strong view that those countries need to take into account the need for this to be concluded,” Albanese said.

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Gaza’s health care crisis is horrifying — and getting worse

Gaza food crisis is horrigying

The health care crisis in Gaza is unthinkably grim, even by the standards of war-ravaged regions. Infectious diseases from chickenpox to cholera are sweeping through the population; crucial medical supplies are blocked at the border; and hospitals are overrun with critically wounded patients.

Four months into Israel’s brutal war on Hamas, the situation looks set to get worse.

Israel is poised to launch an invasion into Rafah, endangering more than a million Palestinians who have sought refuge in the southern city, largely women and children. Hope for a humanitarian respite are fading as U.S.-brokered cease-fire talks broke down in Cairo this week. And the U.S. has frozen funding to the main United Nations aid agency in Gaza, further endangering the already tenuous efforts to provide medical aid.

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Patients dead after power outage amid Israeli raid on Gaza hospital: Live updates

Nasser Hospital patients die in Israeli raidAt least five patients inside the largest functioning hospital in southern Gaza died after the power went out during an Israeli raid on the facility and left them without oxygen, Gaza health officials said Friday.

Troops stormed Nasser Hospital on Thursday after a dayslong siege of the facility in which patients, doctors and humanitarian aid groups described an increasingly dire situation, with dwindling supplies, including food and water as well as reports of snipers shooting civilians trying to leave the area.

The Israeli military says Hamas has used the hospital for military purposes, including to hide some of the 250 hostages who were taken captive on Oct. 7. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, Israel's chief military spokesperson, said the military has intelligence indicating there may be bodies of hostages in the Nasser hospital facility.

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Greece becomes first Orthodox Christian country to legalise same-sex marriage

Greece allows same sex marriage

Greece has become the world’s first Christian Orthodox nation to legalise same-sex marriage after the Athens parliament passed the landmark reform amid scenes of both jubilation and fury in the country.

In a rare display of parliamentary consensus, 176 MPs from across the political spectrum voted in favour of the bill on Thursday. Another 76 rejected the reform while two abstained from the vote and 46 were not present.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community, many unable to contain their emotion, watched from the galleries above.

“We have waited years for this,” said the prominent gay activist Stella Belia of legislation that will not only allow same-sex couples to exchange vows in civil ceremonies but also to adopt children.

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Biden to grant 18-month deportation protections to Palestinians impacted by Gaza war

Biden to grant 18 month deportation stay to PalaestiniansPresident Biden will grant the deferred enforced departure for 18 months to Palestinians who are currently in the United States, the White House announced on Wednesday.

The president signed a memorandum directing the deferral of removal of certain Palestinians who are present in the U.S. in light of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the humanitarian crisis on the ground in Gaza, according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

“Following the horrific October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel, and Israel’s ensuing military response, humanitarian conditions in Gaza have significantly deteriorated,” Sullivan said in a statement.

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